If you’re a working recruiter, you’re unquestionably aware that you’re not the only hired gun around. There are other individuals and agencies out there who are also trying to find top candidates and place them at companies that have a use for these applicants’ particular talents.

To stay ahead of the competition, you need to be aware of what your competition is doing—and this is an area where many recruiters simply fail to put in sufficient effort. It’s not really difficult to get a solid sense of what the other guys are doing, however. In fact, most of the tips we list below can be executed without even leaving the comforts of your office desk.

Understanding Your Recruiting Competition

Identify the Competition – The first step is to know your competition—literally. Who are the other names in your field? Who are the recruiters who may be searching for the same types of candidates? Take the time to compile a list.

Check Out Their Websites – You don’t need to make wild guesses as to what the competition is doing—their websites should provide a wealth of information. If they have publicly available job listings, it’s worth taking a look at these to analyze how they’re written and what they say. Also, if they’re hiring for their recruiting team, examine the types of qualifications they expect their personnel to have.

Explore the Internet – While you’re looking around on the Web, be sure to research other ways that the competition is represented online. Like a lot of professionals, recruiters tend to take pleasure in imparting their knowledge to others, in the form of guest blogs, interviews, webinars, and so forth. This gives you additional opportunities to see what they’re thinking and doing. You can also set up Google Alerts to track new internet activity from your competitors.


Ask Your Candidates – Here’s a source of information you may not have considered: your applicants. There’s a good chance that the candidates you are in contact with have been approached by other recruiters as well. Don’t be shy about asking your candidates about their experiences with other agencies; get them talking about the interview procedure and other relevant aspects of the competitor’s recruitment process.